Maybe, Just Maybe

Four years. 

At first I thought that my actions insured the consequence of my having to rely solely on myself to survive. I believed that getting a divorce meant God could (or would) not bless me, support me, or assist me, but then he caused things to fall into place (behind the scenes) when I would run into obstacles, enabling me to overcome and move forward.
Because of these occurrences, I adjusted my thinking to accept that God allowed the rain to fall on the just and the unjust – But there was something else. 

He was carrying me. 
I was blinded by pain and I knew it. 

I couldn’t see where I was going. I was stumbling on the path, yet He was there for those blind years, leading, guiding, showing me which way to turn when I came up against a wall. 
Little by little, God has continued to draw me closer, and I have learned that He still wants relationship with this broken woman, which blows me away. I’m still smudged with soot on the inside of me, like a fireplace chimney.

When I first found the Lord, my life changed dramatically. I wanted to do great things for Him, big big things, but I didn’t do great things at all, in fact, my life was something I was often ashamed of.

What if…

What if I, like Sarah, tried to make things happen in my own strength due to my own natural reasoning, instead of simply living and obeying God while allowing Him to do what He has always done,

Bring it to pass –
In His way

In His Time

By His Spirit.

Do I understand God’s grace spilling onto my life?

No, nor do I advise going through a divorce to learn about His unconditional love, and faithfulness,

But I marvel as He continues to call me even still.

It causes flickers of hope to ignite within my depths that maybe, just maybe, God’s original plan for my life will be realized just yet.

– leah

Missing

You are a thread.
Thick, Strong, Vibrant.
And you’ve been woven into the lives of the people who surround you.
If you suddenly go missing,
You will destroy the pattern of the tapestry.
For a pattern has already been designed
And the Master Weaver sits at the loom
Making it reality.

But we have a choice.
You have a choice.

You can exit.
But not without destroying the miracle. 
The Miracle of lives woven together
To create something Lovely. 

The absence will be Noted. 
The woven object altered.

It will still function,
It will even retain beauty
But it won’t be the same.
The missing piece will show
More noticeably in its absence,

Because it Isn’t where it belongs. 

– Leah

Flaws…

It does not happen all the time, but sometimes a person can love someone else so much, that the natural tendency to notice and be annoyed by flaws is outweighed by the strong affection residing deep inside.

We all notice flaws in people that we care about.

But when people love one another,
With the love that says, “Not My Will”
They discover an ingredient.
Rare, priceless, this ingredient facilitates their ability to tolerate what others would not.

And that is why some say love is blind.
But I say that true love is not blind.
I say true love sees, all too clearly.

And accepts their beloved as they are –
At face value –
Knowing
That just like rivers,
And even the face of a mountain,
The human heart can change
over time.

If I did not believe that,
I would simply despair of life.
I would even despair over my self.

– leah

The Perfect Dress

Deep things.
I have been thinking about weddings lately. 
The dress, really.
And the preparation. 
How God tells us to be like brides, without spot or wrinkle, and he isn’t talking about our skin. 
We are to cultivate souls of rich character and integrity.
Purity. 

And I thought about us as women, as young brides.
Any age, I guess.
We have hope chests and wedding dress dreams.
But how much time to we spend on our souls?

I mean, when we walk down the aisle we want to present our future mates with the most beautiful self imaginable.
But what is in our soul?
How do we look inside?

What are we really presenting to that man at the altar?

I’m not married.
I was, but I was immature and brought many bad habits into the union.
Sure, I saw the writing on the wall, and I started attending counseling, but not before I hurt some people.

How blessed my family would have been had I truly prepared.
Had I truly focused on weeding bad roots out and planting good seeds in their place.

I do that now.
I have children to raise and I want to be the best example I can be.

One day, my single friends, a man or woman will want whatever ingredients you are made of to be in their every-single-days, and when that time comes, you will want to present them with a healthy soul, rich in integrity, genuine in word and deed, and cultivated with good healthy habits.
No Spot.
No Wrinkle.

It isn’t about the dress, the tux, the ceremony or the dinner afterward.

It’s about the soul inside of you.

…Just Thoughts…
~leah

You Have Not Lived….

Until you’ve heard the words,
“Mommmmm! Josiah put hair removal creme all over his hair!”.

Yes.
You read that correctly.
My ten year old son rubbed, not one, but two applications of hair removal creme into his beautiful sandy brown hair.

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Terror in a tube.

When his sister got married, she and her bridesmaids were primping and beautifying every inch of skin, and this tiny tube is the only trace of evidence that my home was “Spa for a Day”, last July.

But I’m not thinking of that happy morning right now.
Right now, I am running toward the bathroom and yelling,
“What?!? What did you just say?!?”
That was my calm, cool, and collected response to the 16 year old, also known as,  “The Informer”, thank goodness.

I rush in, trying to remain calm, picturing clumps of hair falling out of my son’s scalp until he looks like a like a flea-infested mangey stray, while I try to calm down.
But I feel it.
I feel panic rise within me, not for his hair…that stuff grows back, but for his eyes.

I call him into the bathroom.
“Do you know what you’ve done?
Do you understand the gravity of this situation?”
I feel the screamer inside of me begging to be let out of the dungeon I’ve banished her to.
I feel tension in my voice.
I am at war with the old me I left behind so long ago.

Fear and incredulity have joined hands and they are racing through my mind like it’s their amusement park.

Hurry,  Alma, hurry!”, I silently urge.

“Just strip. Strip out of everything.”, I tell my son.

Reach for a washcloth so he can cover his developing body – preserve his dignity,
Turn on the water – get it warm but not hot,
Reach for a towel to cover his eyes…

“Step in. Turn around. Sit. Scootch forward. I have to rinse right away. Lie back. Cover your body. Do. not. open. your. eyes.”
I am in a hurry but I am not yelling and this is a good thing.
I am relaying the danger into which he placed himself.
I am wondering what type of discipline this will merit.
He is ten, after all.
He knew what he was doing.

I rinse and apply shampoo – then repeat,
watching for strands of hair to break free.
None break free.
Silent prayers sent heavenward, “Thank God.”.

We finish and he steps out.
I wrap his body in a towel and tell him he was fortunate. Very.
I make small talk. “You know, when you wash your hair you need to focus right here…” to calm the situation.
All is well.
Healthy eyes.
Healthy hair.
Healthy hearts.

No one lost their temper.
No one was belittled or humiliated.
Every one is okay.

I remember in the Bible when Adam and Eve blew it.
When Cain killed Abel.
I think of God and his reactions.
Calm questions.
“Adam, where are you?”
“Cain, where is your brother?”

The perfect Father did not rant and rave and scream, even when very bad things happened.
I can almost hear the quiet sighs of resignation  and disappointment, though.
And he disciplined.
But he didn’t withhold himself from his creation.

I try to model my parenting after the Lord’s.
Children know when they’ve done wrong.

No lecture necessary, the learning happens in their hearts when the actions have come to light.

My son is okay.
He’s in trouble, but he’s okay.
We’ve lived through another adventure.
And no one is worse for the wear.

Except, perhaps, for my hair.
I may have a few more grays.

Peace to you.

~ leah

I Want What God Intended

When your children reach higher heights,
achieving greatness,
I want to be there.

When your babies choose their mates.
​And make ​babies of their own,
​When​ you hold the wee things in your arms,
Tiny extensions of yourself,
I want to be there.​
To see ​​the​ smile on your face.
The wonder in your eyes.
The tears I know will gather at their corners.​

​By your side.
​That’s what I want.
Supporting.
Exhorting.
Giving.
Loving.

A man like you who had rough beginnings
A man like you who has weathered storms.​
A man like you who may need joy,
who may need laughter,
Lovemaking, food, and music
in his home…

I want to be the one who sustains you.
Who ​Satisfies,
Edifies,
Bless​es​ and Supports,​
Walks wit​h,
Listens to,
Laughs and Cries with.​

Partner.
Equal.
Lover.

Ray of sunshine.
Beam of light,
Flickering flame
In darkest night.

And Darling,
I want to be loved.
Thoroughly.
Completely.
Magically
Drenched in your affection.

To know your secret heart and you know mine.​

I want what God intended.

Two souls united.
Misty shapes ​merging together
​Creating a third thing.
​A brand new thing.
An Us.

​Place your hands against my own,
palm to palm.
Lace our fingers together,
Intertwine them.
Step closer, so that your thighs are touching mine.
Our bellies too.
Put your mouth upon my mouth and kiss…
make me yours.​

Touch me in this way​.​
​O​pen yourself
And trust.
I will do the same.

I want the love of creatures
The ones which mate for life.​
Of the wild things that ​know,
The magic happens only once.

We​’ve​ suffered in the past.
Let us pour​ good things
​​Into tomorrow.

There is no reason to deny this wonder,​ life.​

​Let it breathe
Let it live
Live in us.​
I want what God intended.​

Faithfully

It occurs to me,
As I rest my body but allow my mind to labor,
That the three words used quite carelessly in our society
Have not been whispered into my ear.

Gifts find their way into my hands,
Time together blossoms quietly, patiently,
As days go by.
Laughter comes to every meeting,
Inserting itself into every conversation,
Somehow aware that it needs no invitation,
Is always welcome to join us,
And is never out of place.

Butterfly kisses land on my lips,
And gentle embraces hold me softly,
Carefully.
So carefully.

But the words are not slipped into my ear,
And I think I know why,
Even as I know that I am loved,
As I love.
Faithfully

It wasn’t the candle that told me,
Even though I can inhale the affection that brought her here whenever she gives light.

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Candles have voices. You just have to hear them with your eyes, and listen as you inhale.

And it wasn’t the coffee that told me,
Though it too is aromatic,
Warming Soul as quickly as it warms her tummy.

No one had to tell me.
For I heard it in the silence of his expression.
He spoke to me when he allowed my fingers to touch his face.
(His beautiful face.)

I can hear him in the quiet.
His isn’t an anemic affection,
It is powerful,
With strong roots
That go down deep
And care for others
Before himself.
(He contains the richest soil.)

It is his love that looks forward into uncertain ‘morrows which promise us nothing,
Not even their arrival.
That steadies itself to brace the winds
Of stormy weather
Or maybe change.

It is his love that protects the most tender of hearts.
It will not bestow something so…
Big, on a Soul
Only to yank it away
He simply isn’t capable…

His love walks slowly,
In careful measured steps –
Observantly,
In order to ensure the best outcome
For all.

He is the tour guide on the unfamiliar path,
Responsible for others
As well as himself,
Turning ’round a corner,
Making sure there’s solid ground
Beneath the traveler’s feet
Before he waves her on.

It is love of sacrifice and safety.
Precaution and bravery.
And Boldness.
For it did not shrink back from the journey,
Though it was clear it would not be easy.

His love hopes,
For it understands the rarity of mutual regard,
And it hungers,
As all loves hunger,
(And thirst).
And it waits,
For there is no hurry.

His is the love I trust.

All of those words, and more, are in the quiet.

I hear them.
Saying,
“By not acting prematurely now,
I am giving to the woman you will be,
one year from now.”

Those are the words in his penetrating gaze,
In the lightest brush of his lips against mine,
In the firm grasp around my waist that bids me wait,
When I would pull him closer,
Hold him longer.
Wrap myself around him.

They bear the message,
“Patience.
Let the fullness of time come to pass in its own way.”

And he is right.
It rings true within me.
“There is no hurry.”

So I let the candle shine her brightest,
I let the coffee fill my cup,
I touch the presents with my fingers,
And soak silent affection up

In the quiet place.
In the hopeful place.
The patient place.
The wisest and the best place.

Because I know,
As I rest my body while allowing my mind to work,
That I am loved.
Even as I love.

Faithfully.

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~ leah

No Man Gets To Break You

I received communication today full of accusations regarding my divorce.

The accusations stated blatantly that I did not care about my children. They accused me of not putting them first when my marriage was in dire straits.
Of course the accusations were from a soul whose mind bore a one-sided perspective.

I cared about my children.
Of course I cared.
The main reason I stayed in the twenty-one year situation was for their sake.
Every storm weathered, every desire denied, every tearful night endured, every sacrifice made, every price paid was for my children.

Until my soul was almost shattered beyond repair like the windshield that bore the brunt of his most recent outburst of anger.

I lived in fear.
I lived alone.
I had no mate.
I had a master.

Like the woman in an airplane who puts the oxygen mask over her mouth before helping others, I did what I needed to do to stay alive so that my children would have a healthy mother.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a hospital unit.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a long-term mental health facility.
I didn’t want them laying flowers near a headstone with my name on it.

Yes.
I left.

I offered a six-month plan,
One that preserved sanity and postponed a permanent divorce situation.
The plan was rejected three times in one evening.
The door was closed.

Ladies who endure domestic violence for the sake of your children, this is what I learned:

You are building a glass house for your family.
When it breaks, everyone will bleed.
If you are fortunate, you will be able to prevent them from bleeding to death.
But the scars will show.

Your “mate” may never embrace the blame for wounding those who were in his charge.
He may play the victim whose spouse left him.
He could point a finger and accuse, “You didn’t love them, me, us, enough to stay.”.
Even if he does admit at least half of the blame, it is quite likely that you will be accused of not forgiving him.
It will not matter how many times you’ve forgiven him before.
If this occurs you must make yourself deaf to it and this is why:
Because no man gets to break you and then blame you for being broken.

No man gets to break you and then blame you for wounding your progeny when you leave to preserve your sanity.

No man gets to break you and then act like he is the victim.

Do you hear me?

No man gets to break you.

Look at your children and ask yourself,
What are they seeing?
What are they hearing?
What are they learning?

If you love your children, you will not subject them to negative images that will never leave their memories.
If you love your children you will remove them from the environment if it drains life from a soul.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would allow your child’s mate to treat them as you are currently being treated.
Answer all of these questions honestly, and then do what is right for your family.

You do not want to live in a house made of glass.

You can clean up the mess when it shatters,
But you will always see the scars.
And try as you might,
You will not be able to remove every bloodstain.

-leah